DIFFERENT TYPES OF PLANS IN EXTENSIONS AND ALTERATIONS – Article by Abrie Snyman, Multiprof Property Intelligence

Dealing with town planning, building plans and sectional title issues daily, we often find that there is a lot of confusion concerning the different types of plans relevant to sectional title complexes.

The biggest uncertainty is between site development plans, building plans and sectional title plans. We would like to explain the differences in a practical way.

A site development plan contains information regarding the specific detail of the scheme including the layout of all the buildings, drainage, landscaping, parking and storm water.
A site development plan is required in terms of the relevant Town Planning Scheme (mostly on properties with a different zoning than residential 1). The requirement for a site development plan is stipulated in the zoning certificate but it can also be a requirement by the local authority. There may be exceptions in certain local authorities, so we suggest you contact your local authority to confirm.

The purpose of a site development plan is to evaluate a development as far as livability and compliance to land use development controls. This includes aspects like coverage, floor area ratio, height and parking requirements. It can also include esthetic acceptability of a development. The approval of a site development is often a pre-requisite for the approval of a building plan.

Building plans are required in terms of the National Building Regulations with the main purpose being the safety of structures and compliance to all relevant rules and regulations and bylaws. All structures, permanent and temporary require building plans. It is a legal requirement in South Africa to obtain planning permission prior to building, renovating or extending your home/ unit, as per Section 4(1) of the National Building Regulations and Buildings Standards Act, which states:

“No person shall without the prior approval in writing of the local authority in question, erect any building in respect of which plans and specifications are to be drawn and submitted in terms of this Act “. Anything you build on a property needs plans, unless it is defined as “minor building work” for which consent is required from Council to be classified as “minor building works” is concerned.

The main purpose of sectional title plans is to indicate ownership of sections in a sectional title complex and shows how the scheme is divided into sections and common property.

If exclusive use areas are created in the rules of a complex an exclusive use area plan will form part of the rules registered at CSOS. This EUA plan will indicate areas allocated to a certain unit as exclusive use. It will indicate the area and position of the EUA as well as the purpose of which this area is registered. It typically includes the garden and courtyard as well as parking bays (covered or open). The Sectional Titles Schemes Management Regulations highlights the following:

MR 30. The body corporate must take all reasonable steps to ensure that a member or any other occupier of a section or exclusive use area does not —

(f) subject to the provisions of section 13(1)(g) of the Act, use a section or exclusive use area for a purpose other than for its intended use as —
(i) shown expressly or by implication on a registered sectional plan or an approved building plan;
(ii) can reasonably be inferred from the provisions of the applicable town planning by-laws or the rulesof the body corporate; or
(iii) is obvious from its construction, layout and available amenities;

s.13. (1) An owner must —
(g) when the purpose for which a section or exclusive use area is intended to be used is shown expressly or by implication on or by a registered sectional plan, not use nor permit such section or exclusive use area to be used for any other purpose: Provided that with the written consent of all owners such section or exclusive use area may be used for that purpose as consented to.

It is important to understand that all these plans are required, and that the existence of sectional title plans does not mean that building plans are not required. Site development plans and building plans are submitted to local authority whilst Sectional Title Plans are approved by the Surveyor Generals office.

 

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